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Snapshot: Beverly Hills

Buying
What can you get for under $1M in this covetable city?

If there’s any city in the world most recognized by its zip code, it has to be Beverly Hills.  Our guess is that there probably aren’t a ton of places in the Western Hemisphere where this string of five digits – 90210 – doesn’t conjure images of opulence and luxury.  And it’s so coveted an address that a couple of our realtor friends, Kim and Kristine Halverson tell us to encourage area homebuyers to do additional research to make sure their property purchase gives them access to Beverly Hills schools.

“Many homes may have a Beverly Hills address but are actually in the City of Los Angeles,” Kim says.

The bad news is you won’t find single family homes under $1.5M in the area, and even if you do, the low inventory at the price point means you can expect to pay over list price for it.

That said, you might be surprised to find out that even with world class shopping (Rodeo Drive, anyone?), prestigious schools, and celebrity homes, it’s possible to buy a condo for under $1M within Beverly Hills city limits.  And if you keep your eye out and wait patiently, you might even be able to snatch up a place for a whole lot less than that.

“A one-bedroom condo in Beverly Hills can range from $439,000 with 908 square feet in a mid-century modern landmark building,” Kristine says, “to a newer one-bedroom with two bathrooms priced at $1,149,000 with 1678 square feet.”

Don’t get too excited about that $439,000. Yes, it happened, and sure, there’s a chance you’ll be the lucky one to land that kind of deal the next time one rolls around. But the numbers below tell a more realistic picture of what you’ll find today.

How far will $1M go in Beverly Hills today:

$790,635 – This is the average price for Beverly Hills condos recently sold for under $1M. Think  two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and 1472 square feet.

$799,000 – The median price for condos recently sold under $1M offers just a bit less square footage (1463) and has only two bathrooms.

$999,500 – For this maximum price of condos sold under $1M, the buyer got three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 2229 square feet.

Area monthly rentals:

When Kim and Kristine sent us the rental listings for Beverly Hills, we were surprised to see $1500 as the minimum for a one-bedroom. The average rental is $5173 for three bedrooms.

The maximum? $10,000 per month, for 27,000-square-feet.

Lifestyle:

There’s no doubt that people who strive to live in Beverly Hills are seeking status.  For most, image is everything. So unless you’re immune to the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses, prepare to spend more money than you might otherwise – on everything. Yes, you’ll pay a premium for living in the area, but you also get amenities that extend well beyond your property line. Beverly Hills is not only a luxury shopper’s paradise, it’s a luxury lover’s paradise.  The hotels and restaurants, the gardens, parks, public art, lush tree-lined streets – everything is immaculate. And that’s part of the luxury of luxury, right? The cleanliness of everything. Be warned: once you’re a local, minding your own business on your way to yoga, expect to snap a few photos for beaming tourists not carrying their own selfie sticks. Your new zip code is so desirable, most visitors are willing to make due with declaring, “I was there.”

Beverly Hills Economy*:

Unemployment rate: 5.3%

Median household income: $136,210

Median Sales Price: $1.7M

Median List Price: $2.6M

*Data taken from RealtyTrac.com, Realtor.com, United States Census Bureau, and Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 

Photography | Jim Barsch

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Elizabeth Salaam
Along with her work as Senior Contributing Writer for Girl's Guide, Elizabeth Salaam writes for the San Diego Reader. Her work has also been published in Elle Magazine. | Most inspired by: Contradictions. | Favorite room in my home: The Master suite. The windows have views for days! | Best design idea I may never do: Adorn my enclosed toilet room with library book wallpaper and a chandelier. | Will never: Bungee jump. | Have always been: Rebellious. | Dying to: Live in a Paris flat with herringbone wood floors.
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